A South Carolina golf course worker desperately wanted to help when an alligator pulled a woman into a lagoon on the property of an upscale Hilton Head resort earlier this week, begging officials for advice during a frantic 911 call made during the fatal animal attack.
The witness was working near the 13th hole at the Sea Pines golf course on Monday when he started to hear screams coming from behind him. When he turned around, he watched in horror as an alligator dragged 45-year-old Cassandra Cline into the water. She’d already been knee-deep in the lagoon when he phoned authorities for help.
“There’s a lady being attacked by an alligator,” he can be heard saying in audio of the emergency call obtained by WTOC. “It dragged her in the water. She’s in the water right now!”
The golf course employee, standing on the opposite side of the lagoon at the time, fights through fear to describe the events in real time to the dispatcher, at one point wondering how he can help Cline.
“I mean what do you do? Do you jump in the water? I don’t know?” he can be heard asking in the audio.
Aside from calling 911, officials at the Department of Natural Resources said there is no specific steps to take in addressing an animal attack. Response efforts vary according to the circumstances, they added.
When authorities arrived on the scene, they found Cline — a kindergarten teacher from upstate New York — unresponsive, according to the police report, which also noted Cline had severe injuries on both her arms and hands. The Beaufort County Coroner on Thursday officially ruled her cause of death as drowning due to alligator attack.
She’d been walking her dog along a residential area of Sea Pines Resort at the time and it was not injured in the incident
David Lucas, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, previously said Cline was trying to protect the pup after the large gator managed to get a hold of its leash.
The alligator was later found and killed, he said.